A talented chef who became the manager of the New York Stock Exchange restaurant in London has died suddenly aged 46.
Former Towneley High School pupil Gill Wilkinson (pictured) was a gifted sportswoman as a teenager and developed some of her earliest culinary skills at Burnley General Hospital.
The only daughter of Mrs Margaret and the late Mr George Wilkinson, she was born in Burnley and lived in Brockenhurst Street before moving out of the area.
She played badminton for Towneley, a sport she still enjoyed, and had trials for the Lancashire women’s hockey team.
Miss Wilkinson trained at Nelson and Colne College as a day release student before taking up a post in Guernsey, where she celebrated her 21st birthday. From there she moved to Studland Bay, Dorset, before moving to London.
She loved city life and worked for 10 years at the Maryleborne BBC conference centre before being appointed the chef manager for Baxter Storey at the stock exchange. Her office was on the 38th floor of Canary Wharf.
“Gill loved working there,” said Mrs Wilkinson. “The last two and a half years have been absolutely fantastic.”
A dog lover, Miss Wilkinson had been pet sitting at a friend’s house when she died. She had complained to a colleague that she did not feel well and left work early. A post-mortem confirmed her cause of death as community airborne pneumonia. Her funeral is tomorrow at 11-20 am, at Burnley Crematorium. Donations in her memory can be made to Diabetes UK or the Dogs’ Trust.